While we are waiting for upcoming Joomla 3.7, we can read more and more rumors about the next big step in Joomla evolution which definitely Joomla 4 will be.
Each Joomla 3 release brings some improvements and new features, but keeping the backward compatibility does not give too much space for some crucial changes. After 4 years of Joomla 3 living, it is high time to do more.
Let’s take a look on some features that Joomla CMS developers are working on.
This is a very exciting news. Due to improvements in JLayouts system, it will be possible to override all HTML code. In Joomla 3 we can override almost every component and module view, but there are still some parts of code that we are not able to override. New Joomla 4 will give us this opportunity.
New Joomla back-end template and workflow improvements
Big changes are coming to the back-end administration panel. We are going to see a new back-end template (probably Bootstrap 4 based) and new customizable dashboard. The main goal is to bring more user-friendly workflow and to simplify onboarding process for users.
Bootstrap 4 support for front-end Joomla templates
Finally, Joomla will say “goodbye” to Bootstrap 2 and will support the upcoming version of Bootstrap 4. From that time, Joomla should always support the latest version of this most popular CSS framework. There are also some rumors about more flexibility in this matter, so it may be much easier to include other popular CSS frameworks, for example, Foundation.
Less amount of code
New Joomla is going to be lighter. Removing the outdated code, reducing the number of parameters and better use of Joomla Framework in components should result in less code that needs to be maintained. This is also a good information for Joomla extensions developers because there will be much less code they need to write as well.
Better security and less bugs
Joomla CMS developers promise less bugs and better security. New Joomla will have higher technical requirements. These are planned minimum requirements, so you should not take them seriously at this stage: PHP 5.5+, MySQL 5.5+, PostgreSQL 9.2+, drop of MS SQL support.
Joomla 3 life cycle
The future Joomla 3.7 version will probably be the last minor release of Joomla 3. However, its end of life is far ahead of us. Joomla 3 will be supported for at least 2 years after the release of the last minor version. During this time, you can be assured of regular security updates.
Upgrade from Joomla 3 to Joomla 4
As far as we know at this stage, there should be an easy way to upgrade Joomla 3 to Joomla 4 by one-click button. The things may be different when it comes to Joomla templates and extensions. New structure of the code and new CSS framework will probably affect current templates and extensions. Most of them will have to be updated to be compatible with Joomla 4.
Joomla 4, when?
Joomla 4 is planned to release for the next year. At this moment it is hard to give an exact date, but as we can read on Joomla.org, the first alpha or even beta version should be available at the end of May 2017.